4 NHL FanDuel Studs to Target on 1/9/20
Spending up in any daily fantasy lineup is how to get the superstars and the highest upside players in your lineup. In NHL DFS, it’s different than paying up in sports like NBA or NFL. Someone can be one of the highest-priced players at his position and put up a total dud of a performance, and paying that much for him would be a huge mistake. Let’s make sure we are paying up in the right spots when building our lineups tonight.
Thursday night in NHL has eleven games on the schedule, so that means lots of stars are on the ice across the league. Which ones do we want to roster tonight?
Mika Zibanejad, Center, New York Rangers
FanDuel Salary: $7,600
Mika Zibanejad has been a bright spot for an otherwise underwhelming New York Rangers team. He ranks 16th in points per game, ahead of stars in the league like Patrice Bergeron and Steven Stamkos. He's leaned upon heavily by the Rangers, as his 21:17 time on ice per game is sixth among forwards, according to Natural Stat Trick. Zibanejad had a good performance on Tuesday night, scoring a goal and adding an assist as he makes a push to make the All-Star game as one of the last men voted in.
On Thursday night, the Rangers take on their rivals the New Jersey Devils and are big favorites. According to our daily fantasy matchup heat map, New York is a -170 favorite and their 3.60 implied goal total is the second-highest on the slate. The Devils have allowed the second-most goals per game this season at 3.43. Zibanejad may seem like he doesn't belong among the other top tier centers, but his play and matchup warrant that tonight.
David Pastrnak, Wing, Boston Bruins
FanDuel Salary: $8,800
The NHL leader in goals, David Pastrnak has been at it again of late, with goals in three straight games. He's now up to 32 goals, which has him on pace for about 60 this season. He's firing the puck like he wants to score 60, too, as his 22.13 shot attempts per 60 minutes are fourth in the league. He gets a good chance to add to his goal total in tonight's game.
The Boston Bruins face the Winnipeg Jets, who are coming off the front end of a back-to-back that went all the way to a shootout. The Bruins' third-ranked power play will go up against the league's worst penalty kill. Pastarnak is the league leader in power play goals, so he should thrive in this matchup. He has a great floor for shots that we would look for when building cash game lineups, and the matchup tonight also gives him the ceiling to pay up for in tournaments.
Max Pacioretty, Wing, Vegas Golden Knights
FanDuel Salary: $7,500
If you like players who shoot a lot, Max Pacioretty should pique your interest. Pacioretty now leads the league in shot attempt rate, ahead of even Alex Ovechkin. He's been producing with the shot volume he's generated, recording 14 points in his last 11 games. He now leads the Vegas Golden Knights in points and goals with 19 and 44, respectively.
The Golden Knights have the highest implied team total on tonight's slate. They are implied to score 3.66 goals against the Los Angeles Kings, who are the second half of a back-to-back. The Kings will likely turn to backup goaltender Jack Campbell, whose .894% is the worst for goalies projected to start tonight. That bodes well if Pacioretty is able to get his shot on net, giving him great upside on Thursday night.
Roman Josi, Defense, Nashville Predators
FanDuel Salary: $6,800
Riding an 11-game point streak is impressive for any player, but even more so for a defenseman. Roman Josi has been on fire for a few weeks now and doesn't look to be slowing down any time soon. He is second in points for defensemen and gets the fourth-most time on ice per game. He's another player who loves to shoot the puck, as he is second for defensemen in shot attempts per 60 minutes.
Despite the Nashville Predators struggling of late, they are still road favorites as they take on the Chicago Blackhawks. They have a healthy implied goal total at 3.45. Chicago has been a weak defensive team all year, allowing the fourth-most shot attempts per game and the second-most expected goals per game. Josi has been able to have big games against good defensive teams like the Bruins and the Pittsburgh Penguins, so he should feast against a team that struggles like the Blackhawks. Josi tops our projections for defensemen on the slate and makes for a better play than some forwards who are priced around the same as him.